What Covid 19 vaccine is best. In a perfect future, a pandemic vaccine may be given in a single dosage, allowing stocks to be stretched to reach a vast amount of individuals. It will have no more drastic side effects than a sore shoulder. It will also be simple to package and stock.
One such vaccination is now available.
The Food and Drug Administration announced on February 27 that it had granted an immediate use permit for Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose Covid vaccine. In a multi-country analysis, it was shown to be 66 percent safe against mild to serious Covid infection by J&J’s vaccines division, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Notably, it was 85 percent effective in combating serious disease. There were still no hospitalizations or deaths.
Overall effectiveness varies geographically, especially in South Africa, where a new mutant appears to evade immunity caused by both infection and Covid vaccines, which were intended to target earlier strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The vaccine has already begun to be delivered, but the organization does not plan to be able to deliver significant quantities of doses until April.
Previously, STAT released a side-by-side review of the vaccines produced by Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, and Moderna, which have been in use in the country since December.
We’ve added detail about the J&J vaccine to this page.
Please keep in mind that during the initial vaccination rollout, people are unlikely to be given an option about which vaccine they choose. Supplies are in low supply. You can get the vaccine that is available at the location where you are being vaccinated.
What Covid 19 vaccine is best.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made with messenger RNA, or mRNA, a technology that delivers a piece of genetic code to cells — in essence, a formula for making the SARS-2 virus’s surface protein (known as spike). The proteins created using the mRNA instructions stimulate the immune system, training it to recognize the spike protein as foreign and produce antibodies and other immunity arms to combat it.
The J&J vaccine takes a novel approach to instructing human cells to produce the SARS-2 spike antigen, which then activates an immune response. It is referred to as a viral vectored vaccine. Adenovirus is a virus that is entirely harmless. It is part of a wide family of viruses, some of which cause common illnesses.
population to be targeted
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in people aged 16 and over. Moderna’s vaccine has been licensed for use in adults 18 and over, but the firm is only testing it in 12- to 17-year-olds. J&J’s vaccine has been validated in adults above the age of 18, and it has been approved for that age group. Before research of infants and younger teenagers is done, this vaccine will not be eligible for use by those under the age of 18.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations have shown astounding — and virtually similar — levels of effectiveness, at least in the early stages after vaccination.
After two doses, the Pfizer vaccine had a 95 percent effectiveness in avoiding symptomatic Covid infection. The vaccine proved to be similarly protective across age ranges as well as racial and ethnic groups.
After the second dose, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1 percent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19. The vaccine’s effectiveness tended to be marginally smaller in people 65 and older, but the firm clarified that the numbers may have been skewed by the fact that there were few cases in that age group in the study at a presentation to the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee in December. The vaccine proved to be successful in both national and racial categories.
But comparing the efficacy of those vaccines to the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s is challenging because of differences in the designs of the Phase 3 clinical tests — essentially the trials were testing for different outcomes. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s trials both tested for any symptomatic Covid infection. Pfizer started counting cases from seven days after receipt of the second dose of vaccine, while Moderna waited until day 14 to start counting cases.
J&J, by contrast, sought to determine whether one dose of its vaccine protected against moderate to severe Covid illness — defined as a combination of a positive test and at least one symptom such as shortness of breath, beginning from 14 or 28 days after the single shot. (The company collected data for both.)
Because of the difference in the trials, making direct comparisons is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Additionally, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines were tested before the emergence of troubling new variants in Britain, South Africa, and Brazil. It’s not entirely clear how well they will work against these mutated viruses.
The J&J vaccine was still being tested when the variants were making the rounds. Much of the data generated in the South African arm of the J&J trial involved people who were infected with the variant first seen in South Africa, called B.1.351.
The J&J one-dose vaccine was found to be 66 percent effective against mild to serious Covid infections from 28 days after injection, but there was some variance depending on geographic position. In the United States, the vaccine was 72% effective, 66% in South America, and 57% in South Africa.
However, the vaccine was found to be 85 percent effective against serious illness, with no variations reported across the study’s eight countries or three continents, or within trial participants’ age groups. After the 28-day duration during which immunity grew, there were no hospitalizations or deaths in the vaccine arm of the study.
It is unknown if any of these vaccines are effective.
Profile with Side Effects.
Reactogenic shots are those that produce a host of temporary side effects in a significant number of receivers.
Many of these vaccines — in particular, most, if not all, of the Covid-19 vaccines for which data has been published so far — are reactogenic. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an independent group that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccination policy, told hospitals early in the rollout that they may want to stagger vaccines among workers in case some felt too ill to function the day after being vaccinated.
Injection site irritation, nausea, fever, body pain, and knee discomfort are the most frequent side effects. Fever has been identified in several clinical trial patients. Side effects are more likely after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Younger adults, whose immune systems are better, showed more side effects than older adults.
To be sure, these side effects are a result of the immune system activating. They should not mean that the vaccine is risky. There have been no significant long-term side effects associated with obtaining these vaccines, which will be carefully tracked as their use increases.
Extreme allergic reactions to mRNA vaccines have been recorded. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to induce anaphylaxis, a serious and possibly lethal reaction, on rare occasions. People who cause anaphylaxis may be treated with epinephrine, the medication used in EpiPens, and will need to be hospitalized to keep their airways open. People should be tracked for 15 minutes after receiving a Covid-19 injection, and 30 minutes if they have a history of serious allergies, according to the CDC.
J&J recently announced that a single case of anaphylaxis was documented in an individual who received the vaccine.
It would take time to determine how often this side effect happens. According to the most recent CDC reports, anaphylaxis happens at a rate of around 2.5 cases per million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 4.7 cases per million doses of the Pfizer. Many of those who have experienced anaphylaxis have a history of serious allergies, and others have had prior cases of anaphylaxis.
Pregnant or lactating women should show caution.
While none of the vaccines have been evaluated in these two categories, Pfizer has recently begun a Phase 2/3 experiment to determine the safety and effectiveness of its vaccine during breastfeeding. J&J, according to Van Hoof, will begin a similar trial in late March or early April.
Moderna has completed the FDA-mandated animal trials; these studies look for evidence that the vaccine may damage the pregnancy or the developing fetus. The organization confirmed that it had no such signs.
It will take time to decide how long all of these vaccines will have safety. It will require collecting blood samples from volunteers on a daily basis to assess their antibody levels, though a reduction in antibody levels would not always mean a lack of safety.
However, a substantial portion of this work would include checking for evidence that people who were immunized are being contaminated with Covid in greater numbers, a trend that will almost definitely lead to proposals to give people booster shots at a yet-to-be-determined interval.